Farah among Helsinki hopefuls

18 June 2012 / 11:23

UK Athletics have announced a provisional 109-strong team for the upcoming European Championships in Helsinki.

The team will be significantly reduced in size following this weekend's Olympic trials in Birmingham, after which any track athletes already gaining automatic qualification for Team GB for the Games will be de-selected in order to focus on their preparations for London.

However, field event athletes will be permitted to compete in Helsinki if it is felt they would benefit from the additional competition, while athletes still seeking Olympic qualifying standards and 5,000 metres world champion Mo Farah could also compete in the Finnish capital.

Farah will be selected to compete over 5,000m and 10,000m in London, but has opted to contest the 1,500m at the trials in order to work on his finishing speed.

Providing he runs in Helsinki, Farah will be defending his 5,000m European title - he also won gold over 10,000m two years ago in Barcelona. The event features a straight final on Wednesday, June 27, the first evening of competition.

The 29-year-old said: "Running the 1,500m at the Aviva 2012 Trials is a great chance for me to work on my speed and tactics in a championship format, over two days.

"At the Olympics I'll need to recover as quickly as possible between races, so running two races back to back will be good preparation."

This year's European Championships will take place in an Olympic year for the first time, following the decision by European Athletics to take the competition into a biennial cycle from 2012 onwards.

The final Aviva GB & NI team for the event, which takes place from June 27 to July 1, will be confirmed on June 25.